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Ryukuza Quest: Protector of Smiles and Sword Saint

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Stage 167: A Ethics of Questions.

Inau-kun, blushing and barely maintaining her blood pressure below the breaking point, tell you, Kiku-chan, and Er Yin-sensei about her date. It is, unsurprisingly, a fairly ordinary date in comparison to yours, which surprises no one. It started as an assignment from Akari-niji-chan, a request to scout the theater and determine what kind of security would be needed. Shoko, being the major domo for Horobi's household was familiar with matters of security in general, while Inau-kun would determine what other situations would be potentially difficult by her nature as a hunter, turning the tools she would use to hunt into plans to kidnap Kiki-hime (or worse, take pictures of her in her dressing room).

Inau-kun noticed the change in Shoko-san's attitude almost immediately, and with a few gently probing questions realized she would be amenable to 'strengthening their relationship'. “You mean might be interested in more than friendship,” demands Kiku-chan flatly, which earns her a silent but stern warning from her master. Inau-kun nods in response, and you lean on the arm of your seat, smiling at the shy prince.

While they couldn't very well take time off from their duties per se, Inau-kun called Akari-niji-chan and asked if she might be able to break for lunch with Shoko-san. Being the wise dragonette she is, Akari agreed readily, and then suggested a particular small cafe that she knew of in Shibuya, near the theater. It wasn't far from the route, and Inau-kun readily made it clear that this was not merely lunch, but if Shoko-san was interested, perhaps a small but important first date.

“You would not believe how dark her skin turns when she blushes, aniki,” the blushing Ainu huntress murmurs softly to you and your companions. As you refuse to disabuse her of that assumption since this is her tale, she goes on to explain that they found the restaurant, and proceeded to enter, surprised it was open so late. “Apparently, it's very famous, but I didn't realize why, of course, and Shoko-san, being new to it as well, wasn't exactly ready either.”

“....let me guess. Little BSD?” you ask, grinning like a madwoman.

“....Little BSD,” she agrees, blushing harder. You hand her a handkerchief and she cleans up the trickle of crimson.

Kiku-chan and and Er Yin look confused, though Er Yin is more bemused than confused, as always. “It is a cosplay themed restaurant. The theme is....well, diabolical.”

“In what way is it evil, aniki?” asks Kiku-chan, misinterpreting.

“No, that's the theme.”

“....oh.”
>>
>>1849048
Inau-kun has her head tilted back and you ease her blood pressure a bit.

“It was....very strange to experience the humans pretending to be demon-children, aniki, and we both had a very hard time not laughing and giggling. It was really a lot of fun, and kind of...well....” she blinks and holds her head back again and Kiku-chan sighs in exasperation.

Shaking your head with that grin still plastered on, you lean over and give Inau-kun a kiss on the cheek. “I am glad that you have found each other, Inau-kun, and I will help you make some more time together when we can.” She nods, though carefully and not to vigorously at all, a winning smile painted on her own lips. A sharp clack indicates there are fifteen more minutes before the show begins; the musicians begin to filter into their seats, and the crowd's murmur subsides to an intense, anticipatory hum. You drop the barriers that filtered your family's conversation from everyone else – more muffling than complete silence of course.

[] Ask about her new sleeping arrangements, should she need them....
[] Relax for a moment and try and calm your increasingly jumpy nerves.
[] Contact Akari through the Void and get a personal report.
[] Invite Shinkai-san to speak with you, without so many words involved
[] Take a moment to excuse yourself and go see Kiki-hime for yourself.
>>
Twitter: @XsQuestmistress

Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1829483/

Interlude: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/37879167/

Kissing! http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/574453/

Threads in Chronological Order, including writeups by XS : http://pastebin.com/Z53TyK0N
or search for tag: Ryukuza on Suptg

Megaupload of the RTF document of Ryukusa Quest (links to archive included): https://mega.nz/#!Biwj0bIb!r0TxRfhDf6PeTXNE9N1EQFF6mmGzFho3u_IcQvC7Ga8

Barrier Combat Guide: http://pastebin.com/rZLwzvGx

>Ryukusa's Treasures

Her name: Ryuu Yorihokura

Rie, the God's Eye Nekomata that protects your Family.

Matagama-no-Shitoki, a necklace kami in its own right that protects Ryukusa from inimical magic.

Ame-no-Omukade-no-Musume – Ryukusa's mukade possessed wakizashi; a kami. “Daughter of my Centipede of Rain.”

Gendai-no-Muteki-no-Buki - Invincible Weapon of the Present Age, a secret kami-blade given to Ryukusa by Wakaba that appears to be made of some alloy of titanium.

Seido-no-Shinpi-Tekina-Ken – a mysterious bronze sword given to Ryukusa by the mermaids of Japan; actually found to be the legendary blade Ame-no-Ohabari.

Go-Yurei-no-Rensa, the Five-Ghost-Chain, used to summon or send messages to your (actual) older sister Ryuu Nabiki.

Her Penthouse in the Secret Apartments of Tsathoggua in Shikoku prefecture, Tokyo.

Shikoku Naya, her fashion teacher and seamstress.

Hisaka Subaru, her weaver and dressmaking teacher.

Ryukusa's Family.

>Talismans:
Akari – Black Jade Centipede (Mukade)
Er Yin – Black Jade Scorpion (Sasori)
Kiki – Black Jade Toad (Hikigaeru)
Kiku – Black Jade Lizard (Tokage)
Yui – Black Jade Snake (Hebi)
Inau – Black Coral Ear Cuff (Amatsukami)
>>
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Ryuu Ryukusa is tall at 5' 8"; 6' in her true form. She is fully grown. Lesbian top.
Matagama Kiku is 4' 1” for ever and ever. Lesbian submissive.
Ryuu Akari is 5' 3" and has another few inches to grow. Sexuality is weird, switch, cosplayer.
Ryuu Yui is 6' 3” and will only grow due to circumstances beyond her control. Dyke, switch.
Ryuu Kiki is 5' 6" and is at full growth. Bisexual bottom.
Er Yin Long is the tall at 5' 10" and is fully grown. Lesbian dominant.
Ryuu Jinyuu is 5' 7" but persistently hovers an extra three inches. Straight.
Hinata-hakase is 6' 3". Sexuality is terrifying.
Hidesato is 5' 5". Straight.
Kushinada is 5' 8". Straighter.
Taisho Ryoga is 5' 9". Who knows.
Hyun Chisato is 5' 4” and is fully grown. Lolicon with plausible deniability.
Rie, just Rie, is 8” tall or 5' 5” and is fully cat. Her sexuality is cat.
Hagyu Genso is 12' 5” standing upright. He is by and large gay.
Mizumi Shoko is 7' 2” is fully grown. Bisexual top.
Yuuhi is 4'11” and is fully grown. Yuuhi a cute.
Tokei Isusangi, Inau-kun is 5' 3” and is much less confused.
Reiha is 5' 5 1/2” and is milfy.
Peta is 3' 2” Peta is \>.</ aka Her Most Imperial Highness Patanjali Piri Yokuhime Kuronogitsune Pa
Detective-san aka Mugon Chujo is fully grown at 5'11” and straight.
Kenji Soomi is 5' 4” and gothic lolita.
Musumi Kanako is 5' 6.5” and is pretty straight.
Hebiki Naoto is 5' 9” and belligerently omnivorous, sexually. You hope only sexually.
Kodachi Umetsume is 5' 4” and fully grown. Practicing asexual.
Melinda Blitzenberg is scattered to the winds and blessed in death.
Toshida Ginka is 5” 3” and fully grown. Turtles have a reputation.
Ryuu Wakaba is a head shorter and also deceased.
Margaret Steinhausen is gratefully dead.
Ryuu Sakumo is dead and spread far and wide.
Ryuu Nabiki is 5' 3” and fully transformed. Embarrassingly straight.
Ryuu Shinju is 4' 11” and fully grown. She is coy, maybe a dodomeki-child.
Ryuu Himeyuri is 5' 5” and is supposedly straight.
Ryuu Fuuta is 5' 6” and slightly less soft.
Kaga Kei is 5' 4” and fully grown. Might be experimental.
Kyubi-san is 6' 3” and fully grown. Hard to say.
Hisaka Subaru is 5' tall and 9' tall, and peculiar as all get out.
Shikoku Naya is 5' 4" (not including heels) and is fully grown. Entirely flexible.
Shinkai Yamada is 5' 7” and is straight.
Shinkai Mikurabe is 5' 2” (without heels) and is probably straight.
>>
>>1849050
>[] Ask about her new sleeping arrangements, should she need them....
>[] Contact Akari through the Void and get a personal report.

Hey XS. Are you doing better? And don't feel bad about napping. Naps are nice.
>>
>>1849050
>[] Contact Akari through the Void and get a personal report.
>[] Invite Shinkai-san to speak with you, without so many words involved
>>
>>1849050
>[x] Ask about her new sleeping arrangements, should she need them....
Tease! The meaning of Ryukuza is tease!
>>
>>1849050
>[x] Contact Akari through the Void and get a personal report.
>[x] Ask about her new sleeping arrangements, should she need them....
>>
>>1849050
>[] Ask about her new sleeping arrangements, should she need them....
>[] Contact Akari through the Void and get a personal report.
>[] Invite Shinkai-san to speak with you, without so many words involved
I feel we should leave seeing Kiki til after the show
>>
>>1849062
Better, slowly. Anti-cough stuff is good.
>>
>>1849062
>>1849110
Clearly Ryukusa needs to start taking more naps. That way they're simply about immersing yourself in the character! It's research!
>>
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>Reminder that choices not explained immediately get used later.

[XX] Ask about her new sleeping arrangements, should she need them....
[XX] Contact Akari through the Void and get a personal report.
[X] Invite Shinkai-san to speak with you, without so many words involved.

You gesture 'come hither' to Inau-kun, patting the air like a cat, and she leans over a little, her blush mostly gone. “So, will you be moving in with Shoko-san soon, or will you be keeping your own room?” The spike in her blood pressure is much more like the Inau-kun of previous meetings, and you smile sweetly at her. “It's a valid question, you know!”

“I had not thought that far ahead, Ryukusa-sama!” she protests, looking alarmed. “I wouldn't want to presume....”

You blink slowly at her and she stares at you, her eyes wide.

[] Put it as gently and kindly as possible, but explain Shoko's prospects.
[] A little bluntness is permissible in a situation such as this.
[] Perhaps a little suggestion of how destiny works might be the easiest way.
[] it will be okay, most likely, you shouldn't interfere.
[] Best to make sure that this doesn't become a mess with hard feelings between them.
>>
>>1849143
>[] Put it as gently and kindly as possible, but explain Shoko's prospects.
>[] A little bluntness is permissible in a situation such as this.
>[] Perhaps a little suggestion of how destiny works might be the easiest way.
>>
>>1849143
>[] Put it as gently and kindly as possible, but explain Shoko's prospects.
>[] Perhaps a little suggestion of how destiny works might be the easiest way.
>>
>>1849143
>[] Put it as gently and kindly as possible, but explain Shoko's prospects.
>>
>>1849143
>[] Put it as gently and kindly as possible, but explain Shoko's prospects.
>>
>>1849143

>First, ask her what she knows or can guess of oni-girls, specifically of how ones like Shoko tend to do romance, and explain to her what she's missing
>>
>>1849143
>>1849190
I like this approach! Sorry for the late vote, had to do laundry!
>>
>>1849143
>[] Best to make sure that this doesn't become a mess with hard feelings between them.
>>
Inau really isn't prepared for oni-romance huh. Well, I'm sure she'll get a handle on it!
>>
Did Ryukusa made Shoko blush?

I thinks she did at least once, but...
>>
big update.
>>
>>1849307
No complaints here
>>
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>>1849266
She has, yes. It makes her turn nearly black.
>>
[XX] Put it as gently and kindly as possible, but explain Shoko's prospects.
[X] Perhaps a little suggestion of how destiny works might be the easiest way.
[+] Inau-kun mentioned she was familiar with oni—children, but perhaps she doesn't quite understand exactly what their social structure is like....

You lean back a little and study her intently, Water Eyes – which she is aware you are using but does not defend against, a demonstration of her trust in you – telling you more about her strange comment. As you feared, it was not you she wouldn't want to presume would have issues with her staying; above and beyond her duties as midwife, she enjoys being part of your clan, her self-doubt notwithstanding (and slowly crumbling). No, as you feared, she would not want to presume upon Shoko's desires, which were made quite clear to you. She is aware that oni-children take more after their oni parentage and often are partr of oni clans, but she doesn't quite understand what that would have to do with her and Shoko-chan's relationship.

“You mentioned you grew up around some oni-children, Inau-kun....” She nods relaxing a little as you relax your gaze. “When you were younger?” She agrees again. “So, you didn't see too much of their culture then? Or how other spirit children deal with them?”

“The latter yes, but not the former. I know that strength and obedience are linked, and I know that they gain power from the power they exert, either for themselves or those they serve....” She's absolutely correct of course. “Is there something wrong with my feelings on this matter?” Her tone is just a touch challenging, and rightfully so; it's a new relationship, and you're interfering.

On the other hand, this time you think it's a good idea.

“Inau-kun, you have to understand. Shoko's appearance and attitude are incredibly feminine for her people. It is a very good thing that you are doing as you are, and acting as you do. I'm not questioning or disagreeing with that at all. But you have to understand something outside of that.” Her resistant doesn't falter or fade, but is entirely replaced by curiosity and perhaps a little bewilderment. “A female oni-child is expected to be strong and powerful, but realistically, she's still very Japanese. Shoko may know Ainu, may even be Ainu, but she's steeped in Japanese culture. She's been Japanese for a long time, and as a result, she's....” You lean back, tapping your finger on your lips. “Well, her prospects for romance are very poor at best. Any romance she might be involved in would be very brutal, very one sided in it's nature. The opportunity to reciprocate – to enjoy -a romance like this is pretty much an experience that would be impossible in an oni clan, even among oni-children.”

“I'm not quite sure I follow, Ryukusa-sama.” You cross your fingers at her and she grins, while Kiku-chan snickers. “Yes, aniki.”
>>
>>1849319
“That's almost as bad,” you complain, before continuing. “Shoko isn't a tomboy, or a dyke, or a prince, Inau-kun. She's about as feminine as an oni-child can get. Even in comparison to Yui-chan, who has literally had any hint of defiance and strength beaten out of her, she's still feminine for an oni-child. If anything,she'd be considered pretty pathetically weak for an oni-child, and certainly be expected to endure serious physical abuse.”

“Only by idiots who weren't aware she killed a kamuy,” mutters Kiku-chan, who gets an affirmative noise from Er Yin.

You really can't and won't disagree there. “Even then – she presents as a woman in every way to an oni. Weak, in need of protection, reluctant to fight. So....not presuming is actually going to confuse her a little. This is one case where if you aren't aggressive in your pursuit, she might mistake it for a lack of interest.” That alarms the demigod properly. “As much as destiny has played a part in your relationship, Inau-kun, it can only take you so far. It is not only okay to presume a little....but in this case, you may presume a lot. She won't mind. She can always say no. She can even resist. But she won't mind it at all. She'll be thrilled, I think. You're the prince, Inau-kun, and she'll love you just as you are, and forgive you for making a few mistakes, even a lot of them, I think.”

Slowly Inau-kun nods, thoughtful and relaxed. Whatever she wants to be or becomes, you're sure, will be someone Shoko-chan wants to get to know. Laying your hand over hers, she gives you a soft, warm smile, her blush gentle and her heart becoming calmer. You're pretty sure you need to get paid for this stuff.

Leaning back in your seat you look at the musicians and then at the stage, sensing more than seeing the movements behind it. With five players – and you're kind of wondering who the last two are going to be – and only a very few makeup artists, the largest number of people are the costume assistants. Backstage security is tight from what you understand, but you like making sure of these things yourself, even if it is by proxy.

(Akari-niji-chan.)

(Aniki?)

(How has Kiki-hime been dealing with her new security restrictions?)

You feel her amusement, overlaid as always with her love and adoration of you. (She took it well, but she is incredibly bossy when it comes to her work, aniki. You're going to have your hands full with her, I promise.)

(I certainly hope so. Three hours is a long wait.) (Aniki!) (All joking aside, you haven't had any issues or strange problems?)
>>
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>>1849322
Her gentle amusement is warm and loving, and tinged with exasperation. (Not even out of your sight for a single day and already you're worried for her? You really do have it bad, aniki.)

(I had plenty to distract me the last few times. Life and death battles and all, you know.) She's right though, you really just can't help it. (thank you for taking care of these things for me, Akari-niji-chan. I rely upon you utterly.)

(I am yours, Ryukusa, and all I do, is for you.)

(Well, maybe not all – I know a few things about you and Yui-niji-chan, after all.) Her laughter is sweet even in the stillness of the void, and more reassuring than any amount of data or explanation could ever be.

You open your eyes and cross your legs, resting both hands upon your knee as you look through the crowd. Inau-kun's spotting techniques are impeccable, and it is very easy to tell the difference between Yamada's men and the men assigned by Shinkai Kakunemo, the head of the Shinkai Yakuza. The number of spirit-children (particularly oni-children) is impressive, but the humans still vastly outnumber them. Lots of men, though a fair number of young women and girls too. You can imagine that a lot of them have saved up for this kind of event.

“It is an impressive crowd. The lack of updates to her twitter and blog were very worrisome for most.” Shinkai Yamada leans over slightly, and you feel his wife's coy smile, her knowing smile. Spells trouble, that does. “Tell me, how did you get an invite to this section, if I may ask? These are highly coveted seats, you know.” You can see why – center of theater, wider aisles, best acoustics. These would easily be 13000 yen seats, maybe 15000.

[] Well, as I said I do know several of the people who work for her....
[] I'm afraid that's a secret....but for you, maybe....
[] I know her sister, actually. She's a close friend, as a matter of fact.
[] To be honest, I might have been understating my relationship with the Hojo Group.
[] ….well, I am certain we can discuss it at length, perhaps during the intermission?
>>
>>1849326
>[] I know her sister, actually. She's a close friend, as a matter of fact.
>[] To be honest, I might have been understating my relationship with the Hojo Group.
>>
>>1849326
>[X] I'm afraid that's a secret....but for you, maybe...
>>
>>1849326
>[] ….well, I am certain we can discuss it at length, perhaps during the intermission?
Can anyone refresh me on what we want from this guy?
>>
>>1849326
>[x] I know her sister, actually. She's a close friend, as a matter of fact.
>>
>>1849326
>[] To be honest, I might have been understating my relationship with the Hojo Group.
>[] ….well, I am certain we can discuss it at length, perhaps during the intermission?
>>
>>1849378
This is Chisato's boss in the Yakuza. He's been very annoyed by her efforts, as they're not bringing in the money he wants in the way he wants. Ryukusa has scheduled a meeting with his oyabun in oder to basically tell the Yakuza 'do this'. Unfortunately,. Yamada has drunk sake with the oyabun, so she just can't whack him or threaten him without serious repercussions.
>>
>>1849322
>(I certainly hope so. Three hours is a long wait.)
Please Ryukusa, haven't you had more than enough fun for the day already?
>>
>>1849428
If she keeps this up she might become a god of creation instead.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGrvQ1c5khU
>>
>>1849420
Hmmm even if he ends up seriously earning a whack?
>>
>>1849441
If it were at all possible she'd surely be well on her way by now! It's always nice to have dreams.
>>
>>1849443
By the traditions of the Yakuza, by sharing sake with Yamada, the oyabun has said "this man is family, and harm to him is harm to me and will be redressed as such". That could get very messy very fast.
>>
>>1849458
Ouch we better watch out and tread carefully then

I suppose we could find him and threaten him properly at a later date if needed?
>>
>>1849326
>[] I know her sister, actually. She's a close friend, as a matter of fact.
>[] To be honest, I might have been understating my relationship with the Hojo Group.
>[] ….well, I am certain we can discuss it at length, perhaps during the intermission?
>>
>>1849326
>[] Well, as I said I do know several of the people who work for her....

>As a matter of fact, I've met the person who wrote the play as part of my work. Didn't get any spoilers, I'm afraid, but I was left assured of the play's quality.
>>
>>1849458

But won't Yamada kill off Chisato if she displease him?
>>
>>1849548
I think there's a couple steps between "good standing" and "you have failed me for the last time, admiral", like losing face or a finger. I doubt he'd jump to that option as long as Chisato is still getting her job done, which she is. He's just snippy about the way she's doing it.

In any case, if he's making that sort of decision it means we fucked up talking him over, so... let's not fuck it up.
>>
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[X] To be honest, I might have been understating my relationship with the Hojo Group.
[X] I know her sister, actually. She's a close friend, as a matter of fact.
[X] ….well, I am certain we can discuss it at length, perhaps during the intermission?
[+] I actually met the author of the play as part of my work, as well....

“Actually, I wasn't aware of that, Yamada-sama. My tickets were hand delivered by one of Kumatori-chan's assistants, you see, so I don't really know how much they're worth exactly.” He looks surprised, and his wife is definitely interested. She leans over a little, and you move to the edge of your seat to allow her to see you better, while keeping your attention on her husband. Her intense study of you is meant to look casual, but she's definitely trying to figure you out. “I met the author of the play at one point, while I was working. They were quite secretive, so I really haven't any spoilers to give you, but I am assured of it's quality – given the level of the performer, of course, that's a given, isn't it?” He chuckles and agrees readily with you.

With a smile you incline your head to him, and he quirks and eyebrow over the rim of his glasses, curious. You feel the intent study of the man behind him, one of his personal bodyguards, not one of those assigned by his oyabun. Though, it is interesting that the oyabun assigned him bodyguards even though he has had sake with Yamada. Something else going on here? You don't think Peta-chan's people would have been that directly threatening.

“Well, I may have understated my relationship with the Hojo Group, just a little.” He gives you a flat look that suggests you might be pushing that joke a little far. Leaning close, you murmur quietly, “It's Kumatori Kiki's sister, you see. I know her quite well....personally, as a matter of fact. She's recently left seclusion, and we're very good....friends.” You smile winsomely at him and that get you both eyebrows. His laugh giggles rather girlishly, and you smile brightly.

It's an effort to ignore the scorching holes Kiku-chan is trying to burn into your back with her gaze. You're fairly certain Yui-chan would literally wilt under that gaze, possibly burst into flames. Er Yin gently lays her hand around the back of her lover's neck and turns her forward. It would be awkward of one of the oyabun's nephews spontaneously combusted, you suspect.

You lean forward from the edge of your seat, and include a slow, lingering glance at his wife, before turning your full attention on him. She has the grace to look away, but lacks the innocence to blush at your frank gaze. Yamada-sama has that self-satisfied, superior grin that suggests he knows something he's not supposed to. Which is just what you want him to think, of course.

The drums start, slow and steady, and the light starts to dim.
>>
>>1849608
“Perhaps, during the kyogen, you and your lovelymight be able to step aside and discuss it at length, perhaps, over drinks?” His wife gives you a charming smile, one that doesn't belie the curiosity and suspicion in her eyes. She has a certain familiarity of face, but not a direct familiarity such as a sibling or a an\unto or uncle might evoke. Still, there is a niggling familiarity nonetheless, and that makes you wonder if the extra guards aren't for Yamada-sama after all.

Shinkai Mikurabe leans over and lays her hand on her husbands arm, giving a firm squeeze. “I think that is a wonderful idea, husband. I would very much like to speak with Ryuu-sama about perhaps meeting some of the cast, perhaps even Kumatori-sama herself.”

“Then we'd be honored to join you for a drink during the intermission, Ryuu-sama,” he says without hesitation, the cue his wife gives him reason enough apparently. Very interesting!

You bow your head. “I would be very much honored,” you agree, and then the lights darken completely. You lean back as the curtain is drawn, revealing the more traditional open stage behind it, the canopy over the painted pine trees behind. The actresses – an unusual thing that gets many whispers and comments all on its own – are taking their places, masked and dressed flamboyantly. The last seats are taken, both on stage and off, and the music begins, samisen and taiko drums, zither and chimes.

Kiki-hime is magnificent in her warrior's outfit, daisho at her side, respendant in white and violets and blues, shining like an ancient samurai would not, yet with all the poise and purity such a person should have. Demon number on is Akari, of course, and demon number two Yui. To your surprise, the role of Izanagi has been taken by Reiha, while the ghost role has been taken by Yuuhi-chan. You can almost hear her murmuring her role and action to herself constantly. You suspect she's going to be the victim of one of the intermediate jokes, without a doubt. Shoko, as predicted, is the narrator; she's shrunken herself once more, and dressed in very loose robes. You're not sure if your surprised or not to see Fuuta-chan sitting on the top of the roof of the inner theater, a prop in and of herself, rather than a play, dressed in white and with golden horns adorning her head. You note with interest that her clothing is plain white paper, and has chips and folds jutting out, almost like...like....

Scales
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>>1849614
Heaven, she's playing the role of Kuraokami. Her placement causes murmurs and stirring, as it is an unusual extra. But then, Kiki-hime doesn't play by all the rules. Fame can be a very potent thing; the repercussions could be harsh though, and you're wondering what on earth she was thinking

[] Ask Kiku-chan silently if this is likely to get any of you cursed or call down some wrath.
[] Stay silent; stay still.
[] Well....you might as well offer Kuraokami some prayers to appease him now.
[] This is....actually appropriate. They earned this, and this is the price you demanded.
[] Trust in your wife and your niji-chans. They can't have been careless.
>>
>>1849618
>[x] Ask Kiku-chan silently if this is likely to get any of you cursed or call down some wrath.
Oh dear!
>>
>>1849548
>>1849567
He is still only a Big Brother, as opposed to an uncle or boss, even if he has the regard and protection of the oyabun. He'd have to justify his actions to his bosses, and she does have all her fingers, which would be the first indication that she's done something wrong. So far she's just not doing what he thinks and wants her to do, but she's still doing her jobs.
>>
>>1849618
>[] Stay silent; stay still.
>[] Trust in your wife and your niji-chans. They can't have been careless.
>>
>>1849618
>[] This is....actually appropriate. They earned this, and this is the price you demanded.
>[] Trust in your wife and your niji-chans. They can't have been careless.
>>
>>1849618
>[] Trust in your wife and your niji-chans. They can't have been careless.
>>
[x] Ask Kiku-chan silently if this is likely to get any of you cursed or call down some wrath.
[x] Stay silent; stay still.
[x] This is....actually appropriate. They earned this, and this is the price you demanded.
[X] Trust in your wife and your niji-chans. They can't have been careless.

It's one of your difficult cases of not revealing how much you would like to use the Emergency Routine – when in danger, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout – but you manage it. Pretty well too, Inau-kun doesn't notice at all.

Thinking it through, though, it looks much worse than it probably is. You do have the Dragon Kami's permission; the play is more or less traditional in type and style, if not in presentation; and there is both an immortal and a sorceress (an oracular one, at that) involved. Yui-niji-chan and Akari-niji-chan would have consulted one another, and most likely Er Yin-sensei and Kiku-chan if they had doubts or concerns. So you remain still and calm, and watch the opening scenes begin, Shoko's dulcet voice drifting across the stage and through the amplifiers.

You kind of wonder if she'll be scouted, actually.

The 'Ghost' rises, and begins her dance, depicting her tribulations in Yomi, the curse that forces him to suffer in endless misery for his wicked actions during a fateful duel. Not Kurao Goto, but Kurao Fundo, who took the form of Goto's sword during th duel. Interesting, and not what you expected. She dances with grace and ease, the lissome nogitsune moving through the dance with incredible skill and style. Even as Shoko narrates, Yuuhi dances, and as Yuuhi dances, she becomes Fundo, her poise, her movements, her very essence showing 'I am a great oni warrior, I am a fool, I am doomed, I am regret'. It's incredibly easy to get lost in the slow, shifting movements and quick, florid gestures.

(Please tell me none of us are going to get cursed for this, kasan.)

(Baka, of course not; Kuraokami would face repercussions that we couldn't even imagine for breaking his word, angered or not.)

(Thank you, my love.)

You can almost see the glow of her blush in the darkened theater.
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>>1849856
You relax, and watch, fascinated by the story being crafted before you. The Ghosts Tale depicts his power and position in the spirit world, before his casting down into yomi. How he was a grand and proud warrior, a creature of vast power and strength. Then the birth of his niece, an unworthy half breed, whom they took in only out of obligation. But that did not mean they had to tolerate her did it? That did not mean they had to cherish and coddle the unwanted, unworthy half-breed, did it? Woe, woe unto me for I have been cast down through no fault save that of others. I did no wrong! I was forthright in my cruelties and justified in my anger! But the gods set their champion against me, and I was felled. Felled, and damned, for my sins, for my pride, for my foolishness. A fate I richly deserve.

You shake your head as the taiko drum rumbles, the entire hour past so quickly, and you feel conflicted, unsure.

Not of your actions, kami no! No, the dance and story evoked exactly what they were supposed to, and you really have to admit that Kiki-hime knows her stuff, and her choice in Yuuhi was absolutely perfect. You're pretty sure it wasn't even magic or supernatural power; the play and dance was just that good! Yuuhi retires back to her cushion, and the applause is polite, subdued, but the talk, oh, the talk is heated, rapid, and intense. Controversial, yet flawlessly performed.

Getting Kiki-hime out of here is going to be a nightmare.

[] Take Inau-kun with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.
[] Take Kiku-chan with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.
[] Take Er Yin-sensei with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.
[] Go by yourself to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.
[] Have some of Peta's people follow you surreptitiously.
>>
>>1849861
>[x] Take Kiku-chan with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.
Seems like the biggest potential for fun to me. We can also
>[x] Have some of Peta's people follow you surreptitiously.
>>
>>1849618
>[x] This is....actually appropriate. They earned this, and this is the price you demanded.
Shit I hope this goes well. It feels like ages since bad stuff
>>
>>1849861
>[] Take Kiku-chan with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.
>>
>>1849861
>[] Take Kiku-chan with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.
>[] Have some of Peta's people follow you surreptitiously.
>>
>>1849861
>[x] Take Kiku-chan with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.
>>
>>1849861
>[] Take Kiku-chan with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.
I'm looking forward to seeing Kiki after the play very much
>>
>>1849861
>[] Take Er Yin-sensei with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.

>Compliment everyone through the Void for their work so far, ask them if they need anything and if one of the performers would be able to believably meet Ryukusa, Shinkai and his wife "by coincidence".
>>
>>1849914

That is to say, if it's too much troubles, it's entirely not necessary.
>>
Should we use Water Eyes on Shinkai's wife?

I would bet she's related to Chisato
>>
>>1849930
Hmmm, not a bad idea. Unless we get called out for it, but not a big chance of that I'd think.
>>
>>1849930
I guess Water Eyes could come in handy, though I'm a little tempted to try Fire or Stone Eyes just to make she's just a human.
>>
>>1849985
Rainbow Eyes!
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[X] Have some of Peta's people follow you surreptitiously.
[XX] Take Kiku-chan with you to meet Shinkai Yamada and his wife.

Yamada-sama and his wife rise, and make their way out of the aisle. You have about twenty minutes to spare, as one of the kyogen comediennes takes their place on the stage and begins her set; long enough for a talk, at least. The the trio of men who were with him – the fourth off sulking still – rise at varied times and leave. Two discrete, one obvious bodyguards. Clever.

Leaning over, and lightly brushing Inau-kun's arm with your bosom, which makes her turn all sorts of pretty shades of red, you murmur softly, “Kiku-chan, I am about to go meed Shinkai Yamada and his wife for a drink. Would you mind coming with me?”

She glares at you, and you tilt your head slightly, eyebrows raised. She sighs, seeing you're being serious, rather than facetious. “Yes aniki, I would mind, but I will do it anyways.”

“Good.” You start walking down the aisle, Kiku-chan in tow. As you pass one of the paired human-nogitsune couples that Er Yin's magic has helped create, you brush up against the handsome young man, who glances up t you, and nods when you apologize. The kanji you wrote on his arm should be enough: 'follow discretely'. Kiku-chan glances at the pair of young men, the nogitsune sleek and deadly looking, and then looks at you. “You keep saying you're not a fan of that kind of relationship, and yet....”

“Blame your master, not me! After my sister told me about men having too much Jing, I'm just not going there!” Kiku-chan hums an agreement and takes your hand, looking for all the world like your young relative cos-playing at the show. “Seven guards in total. The three at the table next to theirs are his men, the others are the oyabun's men.”

“That's a little strange, I didn't think he was that important.”

“He's important enough to share the oyabun's sake, so, that's something to consider.” You look his wife over again; perfectly coiffed hair, not fat, but nicely soft and rounded. Somewhat older than you look, mid thirties, maybe? Older than Yamada-sama, which is a bit odd, you suppose. “Does she look familiar to you?” Kiku-chan shakes her head. “She does to me. It's very strange.”

“You can't have seen her before, you'd remember,” Kiku-chan points out unhelpfully.
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>>1850068
“There's just something. I can't recall.” You step up to their table, and bow; she inclines her head, but Yamada-san stands up and bows back, very polite and reserved this time. You graciously bow to them both, though not terribly deeply, and then take a seat. “Thank you. This is Matagama Kiku, a recent inhabitant of the Temple of Forgotten Stones and Flowers.”

She bows deeply, and receives the barest nod from Mikurabe-sama, and seated bow from Yamada-san. She climbs into the chair rather gracefully, and you catch Mikurabe following the movements most carefully. All the movements. And that's when it hits you.

The pale hair, the dark skin, the grace, and the haughty attitude....

Monsignor Julian, the false Catholic priest from Clan Kaga. Not directly related, perhaps, but kin, definitely. Shinkai Yamada has himself a pretty Kaga sorceress as a wife!

>To Be Continued....
>>
Thank you for Reading and Playing.

An Eyes option or two will be given at the beginning of next episode. Thank you for your continued patience with my Decu length posting times.
>>
>>1850082
Thanks for running XS
>>
>>1849985

Kiku can use Fire Eyes.

>>1849959
Not sure what's the policy to use Water Eyes on suspected humans.

But I want to point out something IMPORTANT:

Ryukusa not being able to recall how the woman is familiar might mean her mind's being tampered with.

Ryukusa has had troubles with some exceptional deductions in the past, sure, but she should probably remember where she has seen this woman's features.
>>
>>1850082
Thanks for running! Well, this is quite interesting.
>>
>>1850082

Thanks for running!

Can't say I expected to hear from Monsignor Julian again.

Wonder if Shinkai knows his wife's ancestry. Don't really expect someone who wants to rank high in an organisation as, err, nationalist as the Yakuza to have a foreign spouse.
>>
Thanks for writing
>>
The play will have five more parts.

>>1850089
She's not closely related - same clan may have the same blood, but she could be as many as three or four generations removed from Julian himself - she hasn't had many dealing with the Kaga Clan in general, remember.

>>1850123
It would explain the fact that he seems to have a clue about the odder Hojo Group institutions....
>>
>>1850165
That's quite a lot of parts! But it deserves no less. It's definitely shaping up to be good.
>>
>>1850082
Thanks for running, the play sounds really good so far, and I'm interested in the Yakuza meeting.

It was mildly jarring to read about social media, considering Ryukusa and her family seem to prefer to be low tech unless they need to be otherwise. Is that a spirit children thing, or kind of specific to their individual circumstances?
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I'll be on in about 8 hours or so to answer any further questions. Be well, and thank you again for Reading and Playing.
>>
>>1850185
A little of both. Spirit children have no real grasp of technology unless taught patiently and carefully. They're aware of it, but there's a lot more STUFF in their world than there is in the one humans live in, and some of it can be quite dangerous - ghosts and youkai are already infectign social meia, which further concerns spirit children.

Clan Ryo is perfectly capable with it, depending on the elements you use - remember, Yui and Akari are both internet and technology savvy. Ryukusa - like many Water dragonesste - has a hard time processing electronic images - their brains work differently and more quickly. Few Fire based oni and dragonettes/dragonnes have the patience to wait on anything less than gigabites of download speed.
>>
>>1850195
>Ryukusa - like many Water dragonesste - has a hard time processing electronic images - their brains work differently and more quickly.
Would she have an easier time with 144hz or faster screens?
>>
>>1850527
She can process the screens now that someone explained how they work - but higher rate screens noly make the problem worse. It's more of a spiritual interaction than not - Void overwhelming Water.
>>
>>1851634
So older screens/lower refresh rates are easier to process?
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>>1850165

Mmmh, so he could be thinking Ryukusa is one of Kiki's "handlers" to make sure she goes back to the operation table like the good little precious ressource she is for those people. Or that she works for one of the people involved in the experiments.

I hope he is not involved, but eh, I doubt his wife's here just because she's a fan.


Let's hope we don't have to kill a Yakuza and a pretty sorceress today. And that if we have to do it, demonstrating they were betraying the Yakuza's interests in a way that justify their death is not hard.
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>>1851968
No, they just hurt less to look at. Electricity and image transmission are things of the Void, and that makes them rough on Water dragonettes, though Water oni-children have less trouble, while youkai children find technology either incredibly useful or utterly baffling.

>>1851978
Remember, Ryukusa is aware that Yamada has shared sake with the oyabun, and knows that if she kills him, the Shinkai Yakuza will be exceedingly difficult to deal with, and certainly can't forgive such an offense, justified or not. Now, if she can get them to do it themselves....
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